Grosse Pointe War Memorial to restore, display recovered statue

The Grosse Pointe statue that wandered away is about to make its way back home and spend the rest of its life indoors.

Officials believe the 5 1/2-foot-tall, 300-pound, bronze statue belonging to the Grosse Pointe War Memorial had a little help on its journey. The nude sculpture of a young woman overlooking a reflecting pool disappeared in 2001 and was believed stolen for the entryway of some by-any-means-necessary art collector far, far away. A police diving team found it at the bottom of the Detroit River last week. It's at the Coast Guard facility on Belle Isle, awaiting its return.

"We hope to get it back later this week," says Mark Weber, president of the War Memorial Association.

Weber says the statue appears to be in excellent shape, considering the circumstances and the zebra mussels that attached over the years. Several factors played in its preservation, including its former use as an outdoor water fountain and being submerged in fresh water.

The War Memorial Association plans to have an expert examine it to determine what, if anything, needs to be done to the circa-1940s sculpture. But whether it's in great shape or not, War Memorial Association officials don’t plan on letting it outside anymore.

"We would probably keep it inside," Weber says. "That way it will be safer and look just as good inside as it does outside."

Source: Mark Weber, president of the War Memorial Association
Writer: Jon Zemke
Signup for Email Alerts